As the reshuffling of their business model continues at Kodak, the company recently announced plans to restructure their distribution model to, as they explain, “effectively serve today’s demanding market and as part of our commitment to this market, we continually seeks ways in which we can provide greater access to our full portfolio of products and services.”
Below is a statement the company recently released that outlines these changes.
Kodak’s Released Statement:
Beginning January 1, 2008, Kodak will implement improvements in our distribution model that will benefit a subset of current direct customers in the professional lab and photo retailer markets. Kodak recognizes the need to be more nimble to effectively serve today’s demanding market and as part of our commitment to this market, we continually seeks ways in which we can provide greater access to our full portfolio of products and services. This is particularly true for Pro Labs and Photo Retailers who, due to limited space or less predictable volumes, require more frequent, smaller deliveries.
To proactively improve the satisfaction of our customers whose predominant ordering pattern requires parcel post delivery, we’re announcing a change in the manner in which we sell and deliver products to them. We have reviewed our current distribution capabilities and related policies and feel we can better support their needs and achieve an enhanced customer experience by implementing a third-party partner model beginning January 1, 2008. At that time, we will support these Kodak customers via a network of wholesalers including; Liberty Photo Products for Pro Labs, Kodak Authorized Medalist Wholesalers for Photo Retailers, Brandess/Kalt/Aetna (BKA) for Camera Stores, Lords International (All Star Wholesale) for Travel& Leisure accounts and ReBatt for customers primarily purchasing Kodak Batteries. Our distributors have been selected for their superior capabilities and responsiveness, which will help provide this flexibility and speed, offering our customers more choices in localized service, flexible terms and fewer restrictions on shipment size and delivery windows. We expect customer pricing to be comparable to current direct pricing from Kodak and, with improved service, to deliver a greater overall value to our customers. We have informed all customers of this change and are working closely with our distribution partners to ensure a smooth transition, including detailed communications plans, improved processes and ample inventories to support their needs.
These partners will act as an extension of our Kodak family, of which all our customers remain an important part. Kodak will continue to innovate across our product lines and to invest in marketing program support. We will also continue to provide customers with direct technical service and field support via national coverage by our direct Kodak Field Sales Team. This move is a proactive one on the part of Eastman Kodak to provide better access to products and services, which ultimately results in better business results for our valued customers.